BCS CHAMPIONS AUBURN TIGERS
Posted on: January 15, 2011 9:13 am
I for one, enjoyed the BCS Championship game between The Auburn Tigers and the Oregon Ducks. At the fine wing and ale establishment that a few of my closest friends were watching the game in, the crowd was definitely pro-Oregon, so much so, that I was the only Tigers fan. Decked out in an Auburn golf shirt and baseball cap I watched the drama unfold. <br />First, some reasons why I chose to cheer for Auburn. I am a huge South Eastern Conference football fan, that was born and lives in Canada. My favorite team is the Florida Gators. Since 2007 I have played college fantasy football that was SEC teams only. I follow all the games here on CBSsports.com gametracker, on the internet via live streaming, and on CBS and Peachtree tv where there is an SEC Game of the Week. This year the computer drafted my team and selected Cam Newton as the quarterback. As a result, I followed the Auburn Tigers throughout the season and PVRed all of their games as the high school team I coach runs a very similar offense as the Tigers. Anyways, as the season progressed and the annual Iron Bowl that pits Alabama against Auburn loomed I listened to the pundits on College Rivals Radio and researched the history of the game. Once the Tide surged ahead 24-0 and the Tigers, led by Cam Newton rallied to win, I knew the Tigers (and the SEC) had another shot at a BCS Title. In the SEC Championship Game, the Tigers beat up on the Gamecocks and sealed their shot at a national title. In the PAC-10 conference I usually cheer for the Oregon Ducks as they have a high tempo spread offense that is exciting to watch. I knew this game would be a good one.<br />For the first few weeks of December, my family and I travelled to Florida for a vacation and I was immersed in the SEC culture. The local newspapers and tv stations were pumping up the SEC and how they have dominated throughout the past decade. I was given an Auburn Tigers hat from a former alumnus and army veteran who lives and breathes Tigers. (He is a friend of my parents). <br />Ok, back to the game. When the Ducks went up 3-0 the bar seemed to be staring at me in my Tigers gear and let me have the ridicule. Not long after the Tigers scored and the bar let me know how much of a cheater Cam Newton was and how he didn't deserve to be in this game. I let flow off me and I concentrated on the game. Then the Ducks scored and the jabs came fast and furious. Once the Tigers tackled LaMichael James in the endzone for a safety the crowd became less rowdy and then the Tigers scored to take the lead. Everything was pretty quiet until Cam Newton fumbled and the Ducks tied it up. The crowd turned and again I was the center of their attention. I let it slide as I knew the Tigers and the SEC would not let me down. Then Wes Byrum kicked the game winning field goal and the crowd fell silent except for a few liquid courage filled losers who were quickly escorted out. In the end, the SEC won its fifth BCS Title in a row and moved to 7-0 in title games in the BCS Era.<br />I enjoyed the game because both defenses came to play and they forced turnovers and created excitement. The Ducks ground game came to a grinding halt and Cam Newton was pretty much held in check. The Tigers unsung heroes were the difference. Former starting quarterback Kodi Burns (senior) caught a 35 yard touchdown pass. Wes Byrum (senior) kicked two field goals including the game winner. Freshman wide receiver Emory Blake caught a 30 yard touchdown pass. Freshman running back Michael Dyer rushed for a game high 143 yards. Senior defensive back Zac Etheridge, who was seriously injured in a game versus Ole Miss a year before and lay motionless on the field for 20 minutes and who sustained a cracked a vertebrae in his neck and many believed he would never play again, had a key interception. Senior defensive back Demond Washington also had a key interception. All in all it was a team effort and the team as whole played as one.<br />I believe that Auburn deserved the victory and it was well earned. In 2011, whoever wins the SEC Championship has a great chance to win the BCS Title and take home the SEC's sixth straight BCS Title. As the shirt says, "Great teams are built in the South".